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Westpack 2009 appealed to recession-resilient industries

Combined in a multi-show environment, Westpack appealed to West coast medical, pharma and biopharm packagers.

Traffic was good the first day of Westpack 2009
Traffic was good the first day of Westpack 2009
There’s no question that PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the big dog on the block when it comes to packaging in California.  However,  Westpack traffic seemed to hold its own this year despite the economy.  That’s because, at least in part, the concentration of pharmaceutical and biopharm companies in California.

With the world’s seventh largest economy, about the same size as Canada, California deserves to have its own packaging show.  Combined as it is with regional medical device, design engineering and a number of other ‘shows’ under one roof – what PACK EXPO would call pavilions – the aisles were surprisingly filled with visitors on opening day, when Packaging Automation attended.

Compact machines showcased

It is a show of small machines, literally, as a significant portion of the California market involves clinical trial and developmental production volumes.

For Uhlmann Packaging, it was a good opportunity to show off a compact blister machine designed to pack temperature-sensitive bipharmaceuticals with the infeed and outfeed sections installed inside refrigerated production areas.  Unlike their mainstream market blister machinery automated by Schneider Electric’s ELAU Packaging Solutions, what Uhlmann brings to Westpack is decidedly smaller – but right for this market.

Nuspark brought its delta robot case packer.  It’s been a big seller since its introduction at PACK EXPO 2007, and it’s an ideal machine for the West coast because of its compact size and versatility.  Nuspark’s ability to integrate entire packing lines makes the robot akin to an adjustable wrench for their engineered systems – a subsystem that can adapt to many applications.

That is to say, it’s been used as a case packer, de-caser, infeed for thermoformed tray filling lines, product transfer, orienter and more.  Nuspark does a brisk business in these machines, using Schneider Electric’s ELAU packaging robot and complete line automation solutions.

About the only thing disappointing was the weather – Los Angeles was in the middle of a  February cold snap, so it was actually 10 degrees warmer in Chicago that week.

About Schneider Electric’s ELAU Packaging Solutions

Schneider Electric’s ELAU Packaging Solutions is the only automaton supplier in the world exclusively focused on the packaging machinery. They offer the only automation system purpose-built for the packaging industry.

Through ELAU, Schneider Electric equips over $1 billion worth of packaging machines annually, with over 45,000 systems already deployed worldwide.  

The market demands packaging operations that are more flexible and efficient to fulfill marketing, supply chain and global business strategies.  Schneider Electric innovations have enabled a revolution in mechanical, software and hardware modularity to deliver these agile packaging systems.
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